Tackling homelessness together
The homelessness crisis continues to be a high priority concern in our country and, as a registered social landlord, we’re really passionate about all people having access to a suitable home to live in.
We shared our knowledge and good practice
Recently our very own Alev Horgan, Head of Housing Care and Support, and Katri Wilson, Assistant Director of Care and Support, spoke at the Identifying and Reducing Homelessness course held by Understanding ModernGov on 30 January 2018.
Led by Roger Barton, an expert in reducing homelessness, the course was aimed at helping local authorities and other housing professionals to prepare for the Homelessness Reduction Act, by offering guidance on how to practice early intervention and identify people in need of help in their area, to combat homelessness.
Alev and Katri spoke about Enfield Single Housing (ESH), where we offer homes and support to single adults who are homeless in the borough of Enfield. The scheme has been a great success so far, so we were asked to speak at the conference to share what we know about supporting young people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. They spoke about how we create action plans with our residents to help them manage their money or debt for example, to support them to live independently, and meet regularly with residents to see how they’re getting on with their plan. Katri and Alev’s talk was well received and we so we’re glad that the audience have taken something valuable away from our experience of running our Enfield Single Housing.
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
The government have described the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, which will come into force in April this year, as ‘the most ambitious legislative reform in decades’. (1) In an attempt to make the existing legislation more effective in tackling single homelessness, the new legal framework includes a number of changes to how local authorities will support people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in England.
Local authorities have to figure out what legal duties they owe someone who asks for homelessness assistance. The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 requires local authorities to offer meaningful assistance to all eligible people, either homeless or threatened with homelessness and regardless of whether they’re considered to have a ‘priority need’ for help. This means that people who aren’t considered to have a ‘priority need’ will receive more meaningful support than they do under the existing Act. (2)
Overall it was a fantastic day that brought together some great thinkers to share views on, and best practice in, effectively tackling the homelessness crisis. We’re hopeful that the new Act will mean that more people get the support they need earlier, to prevent more people from having to experience homelessness.